Rick FamuyiwaUSA103 minutes201414A

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This critically acclaimed comedy-drama/crime story/romance finds positivity and promise in a rough Los Angeles neighbourhood as three very good kids get caught up in some very deep trouble.

From producers/Next Wave favourites Forest Whitaker (Songs My Brothers Taught Me) and Pharrell Williams comes Dope, which made well-deserved waves at Sundance and won critical accolades upon its original release.

Director Rick Famuyiwa's film follows three of the best-looking, coolest, smartest, and hippest-possible dorks, best friends Malcolm, Diggy, and Jib, who are just trying to keep their heads above water and get out of their tough neighbourhood in L.A.'s Inglewood area. Malcolm, the main protagonist, is a gifted student who dreams of attending Harvard, but his aspirations are compromised when his tight-knit trio gets stuck with a large stash of MDMA they have no idea what to do with. Hilarious misadventures ensue, as Malcolm proves to be more as savvy a would-be drug lord as he is a math nerd.

Famuyiwa uses wry humour to poke holes in stereotypes and play with mainstream representations of race (seen, for instance, in Malcolm, Diggy, and Jib's self-professed affinity for "white shit"), gender, and sexuality in a way that is refreshingly nuanced, spirited, and, most notably, punctuated by notes of possibility and promise — a kind seldom seen in heist films!


This wild film shows a teenager and his friends trying to achieve their personal goals while finding a balance in a community that doesn't agree with his values and lifestyle. — Michelle Manson, TIFF Next Wave Committee